Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UN: World Hunger is on the Decline, but there is Still a Lot of Work Ahead

On Sept. 16, the UN released its State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014. This report can be viewed in two different ways: either the glass is half empty or the glass is half full. (Should we examine whether  the water in the glass is clean? That's another discussion).

First, the good news. The number of hungry people decline globally by more than 100 million over the last decade and by 209 million since 1990-92.

"The overall trend in hunger reduction in developing countries means that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 is within reach, 'if appropriate and immediate efforts are stepped up'. Sixty three countries have reached the hunger target of the Millennium Development Goals, MDG1, to halve the proportion of chronically undernourished people in developing countries by 2015., the report said.

To date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDG target, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015.  "In fact, the prevalence of undernourishment has fallen in developing countries from 23.4 to 13.5 percent – and from 18.7 to 11.3 percent globally,"said an FAO news summary .

Still, the glass is half full. So what's the not-so-good news? Despite advances in agriculture, a growth in the global economy and increased technological expertise, there are still 805 million people in the world who are chronically undernourished.. This means  that one in nine residents of the planet  suffer from hunger.

Zero Hunger featured at the UN General Assembly meeting in September
Zero Hunger Challenge
This brings us to the Zero Hunger Challenge campaign, which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched in June 2012. The campaign remains a centerpiece of the UN's anti-hunger efforts.

"Hunger can be eliminated in our lifetimes This requires comprehensive efforts to ensure that every man, woman and child enjoy their Right to Adequate Food; women are empowered; priority is given to family farming; and food systems everywhere are sustainable and resilient," said the UN.

The challenge of Zero Hunger means:
  • Zero stunted children less than 2 years
  • 100% access to adequate food all year round
  • All food systems are sustainable
  • 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
  • Zero loss or waste of food
"Eliminating hunger involves investments in agriculture, rural development, decent work, social protection and equality of opportunity," said the UN. "It will make a major contribution to peace and stability and to the reduction of poverty. It will contribute to better nutrition for all – especially women from the beginning of pregnancy and children under the age of two." 

Follow the ongoing campaign o via the official Zero Hunger Challenge Twitter site

Greta Verburg, ambassador/permanent representative to the Rome-based UN Agencies: FAO/WFP and IFAD, also provides regular updates via photographs, graphics, maps and videos  posted  on Twitter

Here is one example:


Ashley said...

Hi there, please contact ashley.baxstrom@undp.org, Zero Hunger Challenge advisor, for some updated info you can include in your blog!

Hungerexplained.org said...

There is unfortunately a lot of wishful thinking in this UN report. It says in one place that MDG1 on hunger will be achieved in 2015 and in another shows that it won't. It suggests big progress in one place but its figures show that the number of chronically undernourished has only been reduced by 14% (124 million people) between 2000-02 and 2012-14. "Modest progress in Africa" actually boils down to an increased by almost 18 million people of the number of chronically undernourished persons in Africa over the period.
For more detailed comments on this report read http://www.hungerexplained.org/Hungerexplained/News_17_September_2014.html